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Home > Learn About Theta > Blogs > Fraternity Blog

Fraternity Blog

Posted On: Monday, October 9, 2017 07:16 AM, by Ellen Barlow

Kappa Alpha Theta will celebrate Day of Service for the ninth time this year on October 19, Bettie Locke Hamilton's birthday. Theta's newly defined Philanthropy Philosophy quotes the words of Former Fraternity President Adelaide McDonald Sinclair, Sigma/Toronto: "The world should be a better place because Kappa Alpha theta exists." In Adelaide's spirit, Theta categorizes philanthropy in the following three areas:

  • Service, focusing on hands-on volunteering for others;

  • Fundraising, or collecting monetary or in-kind donations for causes close to our hearts; and

  • Advocacy, or championing a cause through public support, education, and awareness.

As Day of Service's name suggests, we want our members to focus on the first of the three categories—service. There are plenty of resources on the this website related to Day of Service, from planning to promoting to participating in the annual photo contest.

Our world has been full of heartache for many people recently. From neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville to several natural disasters occurring one right after another, it seems each news day is more overwhelming than the last. It is not easy to watch our neighbors suffer—lives lost, property destroyed, and worlds turned upside down. It's only been a few weeks since Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and surrounding areas. Days later, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Caribbean and parts of Florida, followed closely by Jose and Maria, which took out power on the entire island of Puerto Rico. Couple these with two massive earthquakes in Mexico, a typhoon in the Philippines, and the most recent tragic mass shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas, and we can feel helpless, even paralyzed. But in dark times, the world needs our light all the more—our sparks of consciousness and caring have the power to change lives for the better.

Day of Service can be a reminder that while we cannot do everything, we all have the capacity to do something. One of Theta's three aims is to exercise the widest influence for good, and thus, Kappa Alpha Theta aspires to cultivate philanthropists, who demonstrate tangible works to seek positive change in their communities. As a callback to this, Kappa Alpha Theta staff will be participating in Day of Service by serving two organizations whose missions focus on serving historically marginalized populations in our local Indianapolis community— New Hope of Indiana and Groundwork Indy. We encourage you to do the same.

Whether you live in an area affected by the most recent storms and wish to assist with the ongoing relief efforts or you simply want to serve an organization you care about, Day of Service is about the power of one multiplied by 200,000—the number of living, initiated members around the world. Imagine the impact Thetas can have, if we all give just a little bit of our time to serve others. We hope you will join us in lifting our lanterns and forging ahead to spread the widest influence for good.

Ellen Barlow is an assistant director of education and leadership at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 07:47 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Amy Hayner Kates
Alpha Phi/Tulane

A champion for preserving and maintaining our ritual; a role model to thousands in the Greek community; and the personification of Theta's values, including vision, tenacity, and determination, Amy Hayner Kates's impact on Kappa Alpha Theta will be felt for generations to come. It was with deep sadness that we announced Amy's death in July from heart disease.

Initiated by the Alpha Phi Chapter at Tulane, Amy served two terms as Fraternity president, three terms as Fraternity vice president, nearly nine years on Theta's delegation to the National Panhellenic Conference, and four years as Theta Foundation trustee and Fraternity Housing Corporation board member. Her Theta career began with service as an educational leadership consultant, college chapter advisor, college chapter facility corporation board member, and college district president.

Amy graces the cover of the Summer 2017 issue of the Theta magazine, and you can learn more about her dedication and service to Theta inside.

Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is the director of communications at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Monday, August 21, 2017 07:40 AM, by Kristi Tucker

If you or your chapter is looking for Bid Day T-shirts, gifts, or just something for yourself, check out Theta's list of licensed vendors any merchandise at FindGreek. As both a website and app, you can search this Pinterest-style site for specific items, vendors, or even items that are on sale.

With more than 600 licensed vendors to from which to choose, FindGreek offers a large range of products in all price ranges. Using these vendors can benefit both your chapter and Theta. By using a licensed vendor, you can assure that you receive quality products and great customer service. In addition, a percentage of the royalties from these vendors comes back to Theta and is used to support our college and alumnae chapters.

Do you have a favorite Theta shirt or piece of jewelry? We hope you enjoy searching and shopping for all of the latest Theta gear!

Kristi Tucker is an assistant director of alumnae engagement at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Posted On: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 07:27 AM, by Liz Appel Rinck
Nancy Fairbank
Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas
TED presenter, advocate for the homeless, Marshall Scholar, and future lawmaker, Nancy Fairbank, Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas, first discovered her passion for ending homelessness during a high school group project, which inspired her to write a book sharing the life stories of five homeless teens. Throwaway Youth: Stories of Springfield's Homeless Teens was published in 2016 by Missouri State University.

Her passion for this issue continued into Fairbank's college career, when she turned her attention to government policies aimed at reducing homelessness. She conducted research on poverty policies in nine different countries and worked in a research group at UT Dallas to create a drug prevention and intervention program targeted toward homeless youth. The resulting program has now been implemented at five schools.

Read more about Nancy and other Theta leading women, including an author, a consultant, and an innovator, in the Spring 2017 issue of the Theta magazine.

Liz Rinck, Gamma/Butler, is the director of communications at Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and editor of the Theta Magazine.

Posted On: Friday, May 26, 2017 07:28 AM, by Regina Collins Simon
Regina and her son Dylan at the gravesite of her husband, Chad.

Is it Memorial Day weekend again already?

To me, it feels like it was just a few months ago. Like it was just yesterday that we went from being a family of three to a family of two. Or like it was just recently that we went from celebrating Memorial Day with BBQs and sleeping in to taking time out to not only consider our fallen loved one but all those who have served and sacrificed in this way.

And there are so many...

Surprisingly, though there are so many who still wish others a "Happy Memorial Day" or are quick to laud the celebration of an additional day off (for most folks, because lots of people still have to work), as if that is the most important thing to be considered. And until August 2005, our family was the same way.

I hope you don't understand what it's like because if you do, it means you have experienced the death of a spouse or child in service to our country. It's heart-wrenching. The loss itself is devastating, but it is not really yours alone. You have to share the loss of your loved one with so many others, many who were brave and served alongside, some who were there when he or she was injured or killed, and those who are also learning to live life differently with a gaping hole in their hearts.

I'm so grateful to God for this newer (more healed) perspective that has taken quite some time and respect to come to. Memorial Day is no longer a day when I want to hide away crying, asking questions that will never be answered. It is also no longer a day when I get angry seeing people's posts about all of the fun that they're having. Truly. Every day that you have to be with friends and family should be treasured.

I say, have all the fun. Eat all the BBQ. Laugh with your friends. Take that extra-long nap. Squeeze in as much living as you can while practicing these three things this Memorial Day weekend.

  1. Take time out from the festivities to observe the purpose of the day. This doesn't even have to be on Memorial Day itself, but sometime over the weekend, set aside some time to actively remember those who served in our armed forces and paid the "ultimate price" for your blessing of liberty. The Memorial Day Foundation does a great job of explaining the things you can do but also why you would do them. Since our move from Wisconsin where my husband is buried, we have been eager to find ways in our new community here in north Texas to connect with others to actively observe Memorial Day. Thankfully, we've connected with people who know of our loss and last year invited us to participate in the Carry the Load event ending in Dallas. Yes, I'll have a small pack of tissues on me as we walk and yes, there'll be tears, but I believe it will be good because we'll be doing it together.

  2. Refrain from wishing people a happy Memorial Day. It's not a "happy" day. As painful as it sometimes is to be reminded of a death in the armed services, we're grateful for be a day when people set aside moments to reflect together on their willingness to serve and sacrifice in military service. And though many of the memorial activities are somber and serious, we hope people take the time out to remember them ... with us. Let us tell the stories—which may make you laugh. Let us tell you the memories—which may make you cry. Call us, text us, invite us to spend time with you doing nothing. Please don't make us feel like pariahs or like we're too fragile to open up and share our hearts with you. We want to. Don't be afraid of our sadness on this day. Please don't be fearful of our pain. It's not a happy time, but there can still be good parts to the day.

  3. Save thanking veterans for Veterans Day. I'll admit, I don't even know what to say to the Marines who served with our guy when Veterans Day comes around. I've read and heard about how weird it is when people thank them for their service. But even more awkward is when someone thanks living veterans for their service on a day set aside for those who died while doing what they also did ... but survived. Instead, consider the pearls of wisdom in this article and take some time this Memorial Day to plan how you might be able to be supportive of veterans and their needs throughout the entire year.

Whatever you decide to do, take some time to reflect on Memorial Day, the experiences of those who are still learning to live without their loved ones every day, and the people who answered "yes" to the call with all they had to give.

Regina Collins Simon, Psi/Wisconsin, is a longtime Theta volunteer; currently she serves Zeta Upsilon/UT Dallas as the operations advisor.

Posted On: Monday, March 13, 2017 08:20 AM, by Teresa Silva Smith

Throughout 2017, Kappa Alpha Theta is celebrating the Year of Scholarship.

We're recognizing the commitment to academic excellence that began with our founders and continues today, as well as honoring Thetas who are dedicated to learning, growing, and being a part of something larger than themselves.

The Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC) strives to enhance opportunities for intellectual growth by providing our college members with study environments that foster creativity and critical thinking. We understand the importance of comfortable—yet stylish—study spaces!

  • Comfortable study space that includes plush chairs and plenty of lighting.

  • Connected with up-to-date technology. Our lighting includes fixtures that turn on just by tapping the exterior portion of the light along with two plugs to provide convenient electricity.

  • Furniture that invites collaboration. Tables are easily adjustable to set at different heights and chairs move throughout the room easily.

Students in today's world are constantly connected and collaborating because both individual and group study is crucial to scholastic success. From convenient ways to charge laptops, phones, and tablets to plenty of lighting for studying late into the night, the FHC is prepared to meet our college students' needs.

Teresa Smith, Phi/Pacific, is the executive director of the Fraternity Housing Corporation.

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